Canadian travel magazine The Travel has included Vietnam in a list of the 10 friendliest destinations in the world, as voted by foreign tourists.
"Politeness and respect are important parts of Vietnamese culture, so it makes sense that visitors find Vietnam a welcoming country," said The Travel.
It added that despite a language barrier, foreign visitors to Vietnam are always met with a smile from Vietnamese. "Locals will want to interact and engage with them to make them feel welcome," the magazine said.
In Hanoi's romantic fall, the warm smiles of Vietnamese women. Photo: Khanh Huy/The Hanoi Times
The ranking is based on a survey of 12,000 respondents in 186 countries and territories conducted by InterNations, the largest global community and information site for people living and working abroad.
In late June, The Travel ranked Vietnam seventh on its list of the top 10 cheapest countries to work in. It noted that no place offers global travelers great food, surreal scenery and friendships like Vietnam. "Eating local dishes costs only a few dollars per meal, and a cup of iced coffee costs less than a dollar," the magazine said.
Vietnam welcomed 5.57 million international visitors in the first half of this year, according to the General Statistics Office. Revenue from tourism was estimated at VND343 trillion (US$14.6 billion), up 29.4% year-on-year and accounting for 52.7% of the 2023 target.
The InterNations survey also found that Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, is a modern destination with a warm feel. It is also a particularly safe city, making it a good choice for solo travelers.
Australian tourists visit Hanoi's Old Quarter on a double-decker bus. Photo: Hoai Nam/The Hanoi Times
Thanks to its scenic spots, cultural and historical values, and the hospitality of its people, Hanoi is always among the leading places in attracting domestic and foreign visitors.
In the first half of 2023, tourist arrivals to Hanoi increased 42% over the same period last year. In particular, international arrivals were estimated at 2 million, representing a sevenfold rise.
Not only InterNations, but a recent study conducted by Explore Worldwide shows that Hanoi is the most popular destination for solo traveling.
In particular, interest in solo travel to Hanoi skyrocketed 946% on search engines last year, and it's easy to see why the city is worth a solo adventure. Home to charming spots and ancient monuments, solo travelers can experience a variety of activities, from roaming food markets to exploring historical sites.
Another study by Southeast Asia's leading travel site Tripzilla ranked Hanoi fourth in the top 12 safest destinations for female solo travelers, with the message: "Feel free to pamper yourself while staying in this beautiful city, which is undoubtedly one of the best places to travel alone as a woman in Southeast Asia."
According to the site, Hanoi is a safe city with friendly locals and rare violent crimes against tourists. The capital also boasts a wealth of cultural attractions that visitors should explore, such as small alleys, ancient houses, St. Joseph's Cathedral, the Temple of Literature - Imperial Academy, and Ngoc Son Temple in Hoan Kiem Lake.
A peaceful corner of Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi. Photo: Khanh Huy/The Hanoi Times
In February, Hanoi was named one of the top five places in the world to travel alone, based on the votes of 50,000 readers of the Dutch online travel agency Booking.com.
"Solo travelers would soon get a taste of the city as they set foot on the busy streets and begin to appreciate the culture and mix of architectural styles, and of course the exquisite yet affordable local cuisine," Booking.com said.